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Simplyobsessed Simplyobsessed
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2011 15:57
Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #1
I've just registered because im confused!

I've had to replace my little goldfish fishies THREE TIMES over the last six months because they keep dying :(.

Here is the tank that I bought for them: http://i56.tinypic.com/dqpxqr.jpg

The expense of paying for twelve fish in total ridiculous really, why wont they just stop dying? My son doesn't know they keep dying because obviously the goldfish are pretty much the same.

Heres what I did:
- Bought them
- poured tap water into the bowl
- added pebbles to the bowl
- added salt to the bowl to make it more like the sea
- put them in
- cleaned out the tank once a month
I fed them about once a day, I only forgot a couple of times which I know is bad but its hard to remember sometimes!

I'm going to buy four more tomorrow since the last of the previous batch died on friday, is there anything i can do to make them live longer?
Brigitte Brigitte
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2011 16:42
Re: Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #2
Hi Simplyobsessed, welcome to FK!

You have definitely come to the right place for information, as the advisers here are brilliant.

I am sorry to hear that your little fishies are dying :(

Unfortunately from what you have described I think there are several factors that have contributed to this.

1. The goldfish bowl you have is really not suited to goldfish at all...in fact it is unfortunately not suitable for any fish. The water volume of these bowls is very low, and the shape means that there is not very much surface area of water for oxygen exchange, so there is usually not enough oxygen in the water. Ideally, you should keep fish in a rectangular shaped tank as this provides the most possible surface area for oxygen exchange. It is also best to have a filter for your tank, as this is where the beneficial bacteria will grow that will feed on your fishies poo and convert the harmful ammonia in it to nitrites (also harmful) and then into nitrates (not harmful in low quantities). It is very difficult to get a decent filter into a bowl

Also, goldfish can get really big and actually need pretty large tanks to thrive. They are also really messy fish, and so they need large water volumes and a very strong filter to cope with the amount of waste they produce. Please have a read of these articles for a better idea of the sizes they should get to and the tank sizes recommended for keeping goldfish. You may want to sit down as it will probably come as quite a shock. http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... -size-life-expectancy.htm and http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles_12/keeping-goldfish.htm

2. You mention that you add tap water to the bowl - do you use any kind of water conditioner before adding the fish? Tap water contains chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals that are toxic to fish. You need to add a water conditioner to the water first to neutralise these before adding any fish.

3. You mentioned that you add salt to the water. Unfortunately goldfish are fresh water fish, not marine fish and so adding salt is doing a lot more harm then good I'm afraid.

4. Cleaning the tank: how exactly do you do this? Most fishkeepers here do what is known as a weekly water change of around 25% of the water - first you remove 25% of the old water using a siphon which helps suck up any debris, old food, fish poo etc from the bottom of the tank. You then need to treat the same volume of clean water with a water conditioner and bring it up to the same temperature as your tank before adding it to the tank. This way there is the least possible amount of stress to your fish.

Do you have any goldfish at the moment? If not, I would not recommend replacing them until you can get a tank more suitable for goldfish. If you currently do have any goldfish, please let us know how many, what types they are and how big they are (pictures would be very helpful). Something you could to temporarily give them a more suitable home is to buy an 80L food safe plastic storage box - Staples do a 'Really Useful' 84L storage box that is food safe, but there are also cheaper ones at Wilkinson's - just make sure they have the glass and fork symbol on them, those will then be safe for fish.

A very helpful tool for a fishkeeper is also a water test kit - most of us here use the API Master freshwater Test Kit, these are liquid tests which measure the pH of your water, as well as the levels of Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. As I mentioned before, ammonia and nitrite are very harmful to your fish and the levels of these should ideally be zero. Without a filter there won't be anywhere for good bacteria that convert these into less harmful Nitrate to grow, and so high levels of these 2 harmful substances together with the salt could be what is killing your fish.

Please let us know what your current situation is with regard to what fish you have at the moment and we will do our best to help you

Fire away with any questions you have, good luck!
Brigitte Brigitte
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2011 16:53
Re: Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #3
P.S. Have a look at this photo: link

This photo was posted by one of the super advisers here and shows how big a common goldfish should get in comparison to the typical goldfish bowl sold in most pet shops. Keeping goldfish in small bowls does stunt their growth and lead to all sorts of health problems and generally causes premature deaths too

I really really would recommend that you look into getting a more suitable tank if you really want to keep goldfish. All the advisers here are super friendly and helpful and would be more than happy to guide you through the process of setting up a goldfish tank. They have just helped me upgrade my goldfish from a tiny 21L tank (I foolishly believed the advice from the pet shop!) to a beautiful 300L tank and my goldfish are doing amazingly well now!!

Here to help

Brig
Simplyobsessed Simplyobsessed
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2011 17:10
Re: Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #4
OK, so I will just not add salt and hope they don't all die when I buy them in the morning.
dismalscientist dismalscientist
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2011 17:14
Re: Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #5
As Brigitte has already mentioned, your tank is completely unsuitable for goldfish. Please don't buy any more fish for that tank!

Do have a read of the articles Brig linked to - they are very informative and will tell you everything you need to know to keep happy, healthy fish
[i][color=9900CC]Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with
Simplyobsessed Simplyobsessed
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2011 17:17
Re: Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #6
The man in the pet shop said that tank would hold four for six months, then I will have to change it.
dismalscientist dismalscientist
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2011 17:19
Re: Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #7
Unfortunately some pet shops will say anything to make a sale.

Please read the articles, they are so much better than a man in a pet shop who just wants your money!
[i][color=9900CC]Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with
Brigitte Brigitte
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2011 17:20
Re: Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #8
I really do urge you not to buy any more goldfish for that bowl, as it really isn't a suitable home for even one goldfish, let alone four, even without adding the salt

Goldfish need loads of space to grow properly and loads of water volume with a good filter to cope with their waste otherwise you will really be not much better off than before, and will still be needlessly replacing fish I'm afraid.

Here to help
Brig

EDIT: Oops crossed Posts with Dismalscientist - she is right, the pet shop will literally tell you anything to make sure you buy something...they are going to make a huge profit from people who repeatedly have to replace fish because of unsuitable tanks and bad advice! I believed their bad advice too and ended up with a goldfish in a too small tank and he suffered so unnecessarily for it

The advisers here gain nothing from giving their advice, they do it for the sake of happy healthy fishies everywhere because they care, and because of them I now have happy healthy fish

Please do read the articles, and ask any questions at all, we are all here to help your fish

Brig
jaspersdad jaspersdad
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2011 17:48
Re: Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #9
I'm sorry to sound harsh, but they are dying because they are being put in to a tiny volume of water with no filter which will quickly become a toxic mess it's like a human trying to survive in a toilet.

Add to this that you do not mention using any kind of water conditioner to remove the poisonious chlorine from tap water and the fact that you have been adding salt!!! Goldfish live in fresh water.

Your equipment for caring for these animals is totally inadequate.

If you are interested in keeping fish successfully then please read and understand the articles on this site before purchasing adequate accomodation for them.

JON
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Simplyobsessed Simplyobsessed
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Re: Why do my little fishies keep dying? :( #10
Saying its like a human trying to survive in a toilet doesnt make sense. They can swim around the bowl - we cant swim around in a toilet.

I can't afford things to make the water better.